Wine Country Journal~ ‘Ham and Eggs’

When we were little children, we used to love going to visit Aunt Nina. She was born with the name ‘Petrina’, but as young ones tend to not be able to pronounce such formal titles- she became forever known as ‘Aunt Nina’. She was the second eldest of my Danish great-grandparent’s offspring. A couple of years older than our grandmother, who we called ‘Nanny’, but certainly younger than stern Aunt Elsie.
Aunt Nina lived in a perfect Mayberry-type small town in upstate New York. Her first and only husband died long before I was even born. She never had children of her own, but happily adopted all of us. Her house was magical—- a screened in back porch filled with toys bought for children she looked after through the years. She had croquet sets and tether balls and gardens we could help her tend. She also had a sun-porch which housed (among other things) a wind-up Victrola with many thick 78 RPM records. Our absolute favorite of all these discs was an old Collins and Harlan song called “Ham and Eggs’:
My sister Jan and I used to have such fun being practically the only persons out there who even knew about this wonderful song. The two of us developed a whole Vaudeville act in which we performed ‘Ham and Eggs’, and took it on the road- so to speak. We took turns singing either Rastus’ part or the Egg Lady’s.
“Whachu want for breakfast?
You know what I want-
You know doggon WELL what I want….”
This is for you, dear Janet. On the day you were born.

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